October 05,2017

Press Contact:

202-224-4515, Katie Niederee and Julia Lawless

Hatch Opening Statement at Trade Nominations Hearing

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today delivered the following opening statement at a hearing to consider the nominations of Jeffery Gerrish to serve as Deputy United States Trade Representative, Gregory Doud to serve a Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and Jason Kearns to serve as a member of the International Trade Commission (ITC): 

            When you look over the respective resumes of each of these nominees, it’s clear that the President has selected individuals that are well-qualified and well-prepared to serve in these important posts. That’s a good thing. 

            There’s quite a bit going on in the trade world at the moment. The Trump Administration has a number of ambitious goals and Congress has a key role to play with all of them. Among other things, we need to make sure the administration is well-staffed, and I hope we’ll be able to take some steps toward that end with the advancement of these nominees.  

            I’d prefer to let the nominees describe their backgrounds and qualifications on their own.  However, I do want to address an issue that has been raised with respect to Mr. Gerrish’s nomination.  

            Members of the committee already have all of the facts, and they are pretty straightforward.  

           Mr. Gerrish was a resident of Virginia until June 2016, at which time he moved to Maryland.  However, in November 2016, Mr. Gerrish voted in the general election in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

           Mr. Gerrish voted where he shouldn’t have.  It’s that simple.  

           He has been open with the Committee about this matter during the vetting process and has cooperated with committee staff’s efforts to understand exactly what happened. I am sure that Mr. Gerrish will be willing to respond to questions about this matter today. 

          My hope is that, at the end of today’s hearing, Committee members will have enough information to judge each nominee on the basis of their experience, knowledge, and qualifications for the position to which they have been nominated. 

         With that out of the way, I want to once again thank the nominees for being here today.  I look forward to hearing your statements and, hopefully, to working with you in the future.